Roberta Chikakwiya belongs to a group of women who like to mingle with fellow ladies and share notes on business as well as personal issues in Blantyre.
Sunbird Hotels’ Ladies’ nights is one event she never misses for such interactions.
“Ladies’ nights give me the freedom to mix with fellow ladies. I am able to network. Apart from that, most women who patronise the event are working class and the night gives us the chance to unwind and have fun,” she says.
Chitenje Night is the theme of this year’s ladies night to be held at Sunbird Mount Soche on September 30 2016.
In an email response on Tuesday, the hotel chain’s public relations officer Akossa Mphepo says the night is meant for fun in a classy and secure environment.
“Women rarely get the opportunity to go out, let loose, dance and enjoy themselves. Fridays are self proclaimed father’s day for the men.
“After long hard days at work and taking care of the home and children, women deserve to de-stress and unwind too, which is where the ladies night concept came in. It proved to be a winner and has stuck since then,” she explains.
The first ladies night was hosted in 2005 and Mphepo attests it has grown bigger, being held at Sunbird Lilongwe, Capital and Mzuzu in addition to the initial Sunbird Mount Soche.
She says every year Sunbird comes up with ways of preserving the fun element of the event with themes for the evenings and this year, Sunbird Mount Soche has settled for Chitenje Night.
“For this night, the dress code will strictly be anything made from chitenje material. We hope that ladies will have fun planning their chitenje outfits while empowering local designers and tailors, thus, encouraging ladies to support fellow Malawians,” she says.
It has not been all rosy from the beginning as Mphepo confesses. When they first came up with the concept she said the response was slow as it was a fairly new concept; people took a bit of time to adopt it.
“Both the ladies and their partners were not quite sure what to expect. However, after hosting the first few functions, the uptake grew considerably. Just last week, Sunbird Capital’s Viphya room was filled to capacity during the ladies night.
“Those from out of town travel to the event and make use of the Sunbird special accommodation rates to spend the night at whichever establishment is hosting the function,” says Mphepo.
Sunbird Capital hosted its ladies night last weekend where besides the fun in food and dance, patrons were also treated to make-up tutorials by the Goddess of Beauty’s Parlour and a fashion show by Deedeez Delights and Designs. n